Paxton Music Studios
Children and Adults
Voice lessons - Julie - 279-5540
Learn healthy singing habits - increase breath control, range and volume
Prepare for auditions
BM in Music Ed. and vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music
MFA in vocal performance at Cal Arts.
Piano, guitar and ukulele - Tom - 309-1502
Learn to read music and play by ear
Learn scales, chords and music theory
while building a repertoire of your favorite songs
BS in Education at Ohio State University.
Paxton Studio Policies
If a student has a regularly scheduled timeslot, it is assumed that the weekly lesson will happen whenever school is in session. If students cannot make a lesson and give me 24 hour advance notice, we will look for a time for a makeup lesson. I will try to make time available on weekends and evenings for makeups and I am always willing to come to your home if that is more convenient on weekends or evenings. (Whether it’s a make up lesson or a regularly scheduled lesson, I add an additional charge of one dollar per minute of drive time to and from your home from the round-a-bout for lessons in Aspen, or from Highway 82 for downvalley lessons.) If no times can be found within a month of the missed lesson date, the lesson will be listed on your month-end invoice as “missed” and you will be charged for the missed lesson. If a make-up lesson is missed or cancelled, it will also be listed on your month-end invoice as “missed”, and you will be charged for the lesson but no further makeup times will be offered.
Exceptions will be made in the event of last-minute illness, in which case a makeup time can be scheduled. If you know, at the last minute, that you will be missing a lesson, I would appreciate a call or a text letting me know me so that I won't be sitting in the studio waiting or driving to your house for no reason.
Recommended practice time is at least 10 minutes five times a week for beginners. Small but frequent intervals of practice work better than last minute cramming before a lesson. Our brains revisit, reflect upon and solidify each day’s new information when we get a good night’s sleep, so each daily practice gives us the benefit of that night’s rehearsal session.
If students are too busy on a given week to practice, they should come to their lesson anyway. We can always make progress at each lesson. I realize that kids are busy these days and that parents have a wide range of expectations for how much progress their children should be making. As long as students are focused and willing to take direction during their lessons, I am happy work with them. If I notice, however, that our time together is not resulting in any progress, I will contact the parent and we can talk it over.
All kids need some help with discipline. Although no one wants practicing to become a bone of contention between parent and child, parents should expect to have to remind and encourage their children to practice from time to time. It helps to occasionally give younger kids your undivided attention when they are practicing so they can show off what they have been learning. Set up informal concerts with relatives and friends. Most young musical performers will enjoy the attention, and playing in front of others gives them a chance to experience, and hopefully eventually overcome, some of the debilitating symptoms of performance pressure.
As kids approach adolescence and start the process of individuation, however, parents need to be aware that teenagers are going to be a bit touchy about what they see as unnecessary parental oversight. They will sometimes vacillate wildly between wanting to show off and wanting to practice in private. Don’t be too surprised if your teenagers retreat into their rooms with their instruments. When I was that age, the time alone in my room with music was pretty therapeutic!
Think of music study is an investment. We have all felt the ability of this wonderful, nonrepresentational art form to energize us and effect our emotions in a million ways. In addition, science has shown us that music is also a powerful brain builder by demonstrating with MRI scans that musical performance lights up more areas of the brain simultaneously than any other human endeavor.
As we all know, musical progress does take practice, and it sometimes feels like hard work. . As music teachers, it is our job to introduce new skills gradually so that frustration is minimized and fun maximized. We also realize that kids will practice more when they are working on material that they enjoy playing. But in order to keep our students from flat lining, we need to introduce new skills that will develop their musicianship but may require determined repetition to master.
If you see that your child is beginning to resist practice because it is getting more challenging as they improve, don't hesitate to create little incentives. In other words, don't be afraid to bribe them. It's amazing how much productivity you can get out of them with the slightest little reward. Kids love to negotiate their incentive programs, so let the bargaining begin!
It is an investment in money, time and energy; but if your child shows signs of loving music and a willingness to develop his or her talent, it's an investment that will pay big dividends in enhanced brain power, self confidence, work ethic and self expression well into the future.